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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Germany still upbeat on "positive" Iranian reply to western cooperation offer

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Dec 15, IRNA
German Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jens Ploetner voiced cautious optimism on the possibility of a "substantial and positive reaction" by Iran on the western political and economic cooperation offer.

Talking at a routine government press briefing in Berlin on Monday, Ploetner expressed "deep regret" that talks between Iran and several western countries had not resulted yet in any progress.

Pointing to the willingness by US president-elect Barack Obama for a dialogue with Iran, the German official said the next months were "extremely important."

Ploetner urged Tehran to take advantage of the readiness of the new American administration for direct talks.

"We think it is in the basic interest of Iran to use the window of opportunity which has opened up. It would be extremely regretful if the West and Iran miss this opportunity again to have another chance for a substantial improvement in the relations between the West and Iran," he said.

The West has linked any improvement in its ties with Iran to halting the nuclear enrichment program.

Tehran has repeatedly dismissed western demands to stop its uranium enrichment, saying it is legally entitled to have such a program under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Iran has time and again said it needs nuclear energy to meet its growing energy needs.

It has accused the West of double standards by rewarding nuclear- armed states like India, Pakistan and Israel, while punishing Iran with sanctions for merely pursuing a civilian nuclear program.

Tehran has also made it clear that acquiring nuclear weapons was in strong violation of its Islamic laws and teachings.


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